Preview: Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening (PS2)

Publisher: Capcom / Developer: Capcom / Genre: Action / Release Date: 03-08-2005

Remember high school? Remember that medieval Italian epic called The Divine Comedy? No? Mmkay, never mind.. What about the game Devil May Cry (and its sequel DMC2) with a protagonist called Dante? That’s more like it. What if I told you that Capcom is adding yet another game to this franchise? You’d probably say that you’d been anxiously anticipating this PS2 title and wish I’d get on with the preview, yes?

Devil May Cry (3?): Dante’s Awakening, which will be released March 8th, 2005, shows that Capcom has decided to go the Star Wars route and create a prequel. While this may insinuate a lack of creativity on the behalf of the makers, DMC3 promises to answer some of those burning questions that DMC and DMC2 couldn’t. In fact, answering questions about Dante and how he became the character players are familiar with is a huge part of the Dante’s Awakening storyline. For instance, apparently Dante’s dad (the demon warrior Sparda, of course) passed the metaphorical “goods” to someone other than just Dante — to his twin brother Virgil (come on, you guys, don’t you think that’s enough allusions to Dante’s {the writer, not the character} Inferno?) who is quite a formidable enigma himself. However, there’s no brotherly love in this game; Dante and Virgil became at odds over an unknown something during their youth and are not exactly getting along when the game takes place (hello understatement). In addition, a mysterious prophecy is referred to in the game that just might be the key to understanding the relationship between Dante and his brother.

The game, which presents Dante as considerably younger and oblivious to his powers, gives players the ability to mold him into a warrior through various methods, most notably the “My Dante” system. This lets the player customize Dante by choosing a fighting style (Gunslinger, Sword Master, Trickster, or Royal Guard — there’s a slight possibility that more may be added before release, but no promises) and upgrading the abilities in the category. Each of these categories has its own overall theme; for example, Gunslinger abilities deal with long-range battle techniques, and Trickster abilities deal with things such as wall jumps and speedy attacks, both of which are handy for evasion. The amount of possibilities definitely up the replayability factor of this game. Another plus to the battle system is that Capcom decided to revert to the old one — as in, the one from the first game with more enclosed surroundings and an abundance of enemies on screen which means that there will virtually be an end to unfair, unseen enemies (which will make the more intense combos easier to handle… since you can actually see the buggers you’re fighting). In addition, the tighter spaces definitely help fill the player with a sense of foreboding.

In terms of characters, players will be meeting new ones (besides Virgil) such as a female demon hunter, Lady (talk about a creative name… for a dog), whose mission in life is to rid the world of, well, demons. Unfortunately, our Dante is included.

The graphics have undergone a major renovation and look completely different than the game’s predecessors though it maintains a somewhat similar style. Character modeling can boast more realism and players will discover a larger variety of enemies in which they will interact.

Unlike what could be a major mistake, Devil May Cry (3?): Dante’s Awakening takes the idea of a prequel and makes it an entirely new experience for the player — while answering some of the questions that its predecessors evoke. For information closer to the release date, check back here!